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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Date Night

Last Saturday was Date Night. For those who don't have children, date night may perhaps not be the sacrosanct event that it is for us who are tied down after 6 p.m. However, once Kathleen is in bed at the appointed hour, either Brandon can leave the house or I can leave the house, but to leave the house together requires a third party (who is usually paid). And last Saturday was an especially special date night, the kind that doesn't involve separate seating during the movie; we usually only manage that kind on our one night out a month.

In anticipation of seeing an earlier movie, we grilled at home, pretending that it is actually warm enough this time of year to grill outside. And seeing as this was Date Night, a special time where Brandon and I can sit down, talk, and discuss the deepest matters of our soul, the phone rang. So I enjoyed a delicious dinner while Brandon tried to eat around being harangued the entire meal by a well-meaning caller.

But no matter. We could still lovingly hold hands while being surrounded by teenaged girls at the dollar movie showing of Enchanted. I liked it, and well, it was better than anything else offered. Afterwards, we decided to splurge and go to Coldstone for ice cream. Obviously we hadn't been out on a Saturday night for some time, because we weren't aware of the 45-minute wait time for someone to mix your ice cream up on a cold piece of marble. At both stores in Provo. So instead we went grocery shopping. Aren't onions romantic?

On the way home, our rumbling motor emitted a clunk followed by an ominous scraping sound. Our poor car had chosen that moment to break a pipe on University Parkway. So, to finish off our date night, Brandon crawled under the car and rigged up a license plate with string to hold us over until we got home. Anyone who says that married life isn't romantic obviously hasn't watched their Henry Higgins turn into McGuyver.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lowered Expectations

As a tender youth in the Young Women's program, we were always told 'never lower your standards or expectations!' I took that advice to heart, always looking for what I could expect more from. Friday night date? Dinner and a movie were so overdone. Just dinner itself? Don't even think of taking me to something like Applebees - they get all of their food from Sysco! Vacations? The more remote and related to the Caribbean the better. I once dated a young man whose highest desire from life was to sit in his library at home and read books. Who'd ever want to marry someone like that?

Growing up in North Carolina, I had definite ideas about climate. Anything less than 85 degrees is cool, and anything less than 50 is downright cold. And below freezing? We don't talk about places like that out of respect for the mental deficiencies of the people living there.

However, this winter has been only the worst in a long string of cold winters; I was just grateful to stay home and not walk to class in the miserable weather. Spring has finally decided to show its face around here, and the snow has almost melted. The weather has been gorgeous. Kathleen and I have gone running in reduced winter gear (only one blanket for her, and one jacket and pair of running tights for me, sometimes ever stripping down to no jacket at all). After all 30 degree mornings are quite balmy compared to 20 degree ones. And those ones are better than 10 degree mornings. This afternoon, charmed by the sun, Kathleen and I even shed our coats and I donned flip-flops. And who wouldn't on a balmy, 55-degree day? Despite the warnings of my long-ago leaders, I have come to embrace lowered expectations. Being happy is so much easier when one doesn't expect much.